We're looking into using them here, and already do at one of our other locations. What I know about
using them is limited to what comes through the grape vine (or spun from the higher-ups). The set-up
is supposedly minimal and based off of your mailing data base, and that the response percentage
to your mailer jumps up about 10 fold (from 2-3% for a direct mailer to 20-30% on one including a
PURL). Now understand I have no hard numbers to back this up, I'll just be the one doing the
data merges and printing of the pieces. Prospects do fill in their own info online, so you can gather
data that's very good for a period of time.
Supposedly they're the next big thing in direct mail, if they aren't already.
We're also looking into Mindfire...I attended a PURLs seminar last month and was blown away by the numbers and the capabilities. Mindfire sounds like the way to go. It even helps with the setup of the landing page and forms.
I believe PURLs and VDP are the future of digital printing. Once clients learn to trust the software and the prepress technicians, and clients learn of the incredible ROI, it turns into a no-brainer.
In my local market I know of only one printer providing PURLs. They are so far ahead of the game it's not even fair.
I've been through the PURLs dog and pony show and it seems compelling but... How do you go from being a small commercial/quick printer with no sales force to a "Marketing Solutions Provider"?
The obvious track seems to be get a sales person, get a designer and a IT guru and go out and talk to the Executives in your local larger companies about providing solutions for their marketing problems. Anybody taken a small shop (4-5 people) and converted from a technologically advanced print shop to a "Marketing Solutions Provider" without any previous experience in that field?
After seeing the seminar, I was feeling pumped up by the concepts presented but the reality of 6 months of day to day print production (which is still going strong) has buried the concept of morphing the business.
Okay, so lets say we agree on a few things here...
You have a digital press and you want to sell printing to people - BUT You recognize that the person buying your printing is NOT the marketing guy, who is the new target prospect.
You need to offer something relevant to him so they will consider you a strategic partner - which is a way to crack open the head of THEIR target prospect.
We honestly believe that cross media works better then just print or just email.
-- in this definition of cross media - i mean sending out a print postcard, with a PURL or GURL on it - which takes someone from Print "media" accross to the internet "Media" - a personalized web site.
if you are with me so far then - then honestly - we do publicly say, as do many other say - that there is (and we have) statistical analysis prove that the response rates are much higher then NON cross media campaigns.
So, now that i have you under my spell... go to the web site.
The reality is that there lost of moving parts (in a cross media campaign) and the offer (that is, the thing they are trying to accomplish) and the way that offer is presented (that is, what questions might get the best response) requires research and testing, requires thinking in a marketing type of way, and normally should be tied to a revenue goal - how else would you measure the success ?
Well, that what we do, thanks for the opportunity to actually say so, will end buy saying it is far less about what tech you use and more about the strategy meetings and coming up with the 'offer' - and measuring the responses and 'adjusting' the "presentation'
-- hey, at Magicomm.biz - we like Adobe InDesign Server and XMPie, but hey, I like peanut butter grilled cheese sandwiches - it is all preference and wisdom about your preferences.
We're sort of doing it right now. We're a 10 person shop, technologically sound, and had no
experience in it. My boss and I have taken the time to demo equipment and software locally
and at some of our other production facilities. We have some IT support at the corporate level,
but have to be reasonably self sufficient locally (they're 1500 miles away).
It's taken about 3 months to get the direct mail hardware & software up and running, but we're
up to speed and billing work. Next will be the PURL module that's being used at another location,
so there's still a fair amount of work to go in that area. Direct mail is running off of our Docucolor
2060 and ink jetter. PURLs will most likely run off the 2060 for the most part. At least that's where
it'll be running first if all goes according to plan.
You can get through it this way, but it'll be a lot of man hours testing and demo'ing. One of the
tricks is to be sure you buy the right thing the first time, so you'll need to have a relatively good
idea about which end of the data crunching field you want to compete in before you start buying.
We have outside sales reps already, and we already print newsletters, postcards and other marketing
material for our existing client base. It won't be too hard to be competitively priced and sell them on the
fact that we handle the entire job each week/month/quarter for them.
My boss and I have done all this while growing and maintaining our existing client base.